KEXP at Iceland Airwaves, Day 1: FM Belfast

photos by Jim Bennett

Icelandic band FM Belfast are glorious. They are essentially a dance band in the DFA tradition of weirdness, mixing retro sound that borders on nerdy with way too much enthusiasm to create a cult-like party that sucks you in and gets you to stay for a while. “Underwear” off of their debut, How To Make Friends, became a sleeper hit thanks to its chilled out vibe and Icelandic cool. But with 2011’s Don’t Want To Sleep, their partying tendencies came to the forefront to make for a fun and ridiculous record. This year, FM Belfast has dropped a couple mor singles to stir the pot. “DeLorean” trends more towards synth pop, while “Stripes” goes 90s for a sing-a-long like no other. All in all, FM Belfast continue to crank out excellent dance tunes and we are looking forward to their next LP. But in the meantime, we get to see their excellent live show, famous for its all-round good times.

For their set during KEXP’s broadcast during Iceland Airwaves, KEX hostel was packed to the gills super early, with people dancing in anticipation long before the band started playing. FM Belfast began to resounding cheers, and many more people jumped for joy and yelled to the beat of “New Year.” While they were the only band so far to bring their light show with them, FM Belfast’s set a blur of shouting, jumping, big beats, clapping, cheering, and lots and lots of dancing. Still, this obvious crowd favorite’s set will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the broadcast. After the band ended a mere half hour later, the crowd felt the party stopped too early and cheered for more. FM belfast played an off-air encore, sending everyone off to the main festival with their spirits high.

The broadcast from KEX Hostel will resume tomorrow morning with Ólafur Arnalds at 6 am PST/1 pm GMT.

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